Saturday, 14 January 2017

Book Review: The Forgotten Fairytales by Angela Parkhurst

The Forgotten Fairytales – Angela Parkhurst

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: Angela Parkhurst
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
First published: 2014
Edition: ePub
Pages: 360
Blurb:    (Taken from goodreads)
               A psychotic, shoe obsessed Princess.
               A not-so-charming, alcoholic Prince.
               A hot Big Bad Wolf she absolutely cannot fall for – no matter how well he kisses.
               If seventeen-year-old Norah Hart had known she’d be attending a boarding school for the nut job reincarnations of fairy tale characters, she would have insisted on going to Moscow with her father. But getting out isn’t as easy as she thought. Especially once Norah realizes she, too, is a storybook character. An Unknown. The first one in one hundred years.
Soon Norah learns she can help others break free form the story binding them. But in doing so puts everyone’s Happily Ever After in jeopardy. Some princesses will do whatever it takes to protect their endings. Even if it means betraying the one closest to you.

History of my copy: I received a copy of The Forgotten Fairytales through YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

In all honesty, this is the kind of book I should adore. I am a huge fan of fairy-tale retellings, especially those with a twist. To me, it sounded like a high school version of the hit TV show Once Upon A Time, of which I am a huge fan of. Although The Forgotten Fairytales wasn’t a bad book, I think that my high expectations kind of ruined it for me when it turned out to not live up to them.

Plot: We follow Norah Hart and her sister as she enters boarding school whilst her dad moves to Moscow. However, this isn’t an ordinary school – it’s a school where all the students are an ‘alternative’ version of fairy-tale characters. It is also very cliquey where the princesses stick together, as do the heroes, villains, sidekicks, etc. It turns out that Cinderella, of all people, is evil and so Norah and her best friend turned boyfriend Wolf have to stop her whilst not getting killed.

Setting: One thing I did enjoy about The Forgotten Fairytales is the setting. The castle-turned school may feel a little Hogwarts-y, but it certainly suited the fairy-tale nature of the book. I do wish Pankhurst had given it a little more character and description though as it had the potential to be a fantastic setting.

Characters: Whilst the main characters of the book were all individual, none of them really connected with me. The protagonist, Norah, was sometimes a bit if a bad-ass, but became a complete wuss when it came to her sister. She just felt a little two-dimensional and flat, and had no outstanding personality.
               Wolf was another conundrum. Starting off as a broody, humorous person, he became all soft and sweet as soon as he and Norah became a thing. That just felt too fake. In fact, their whole relationship was just a little too cliché and fake if I’m honest.
               Then there is Cinderella because, of course, the innocent, kind, angel of a girl definitely is evil.. right? Pankhurst did explain it well and did it justice but it just felt a little too far gone. It felt very much ‘let’s take the kindest person and make them evil!’

To read or not to read: Not read. Whilst The Forgotten Fairytales was far from a terrible book, it just really didn’t live up to my expectation. It was such a brilliant idea but I think it fell a little flat, with perhaps too much effort going into making the characters ‘different’ from the traditional tales. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an alright book, but I wouldn’t go recommending it to anyone in a hurry.

Christmas Book Haul 2

It's that time of year again folks! I hope you have all had an amazing festive period whether you celebrate Christmas, any other holidays, or nothing at all. 

As per usual, it isn't really Christmas without family, gifts and, of course, books! I thought for this post I would do a quick update on the state of the books I got last Christmas (blog post can be found here) and then dive into the literary wonders I received this time round.

Last year's books:

Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia by Christopher Paolini

This was the first book I completed in 2016 and I gave it a 4* review.

Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling

I'm still yet to finish this one, but the images are just beautiful!

Wars of the Roses: Bloodline by Conn Iggulden

Oops I haven't even started this one yet.

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Ahh yes this one was so good! I gave it a 5* review.

The Company of the Dead by David Kowalksi

Don't think I've even started this one either.

The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

I haven't even touched the first of this trilogy. Maybe this year?

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

I loved this one so much I actually finished it back in 2015, just after Christmas! It got a 4* review.

The Enchanted Forest Postcards by Joanna Basford

I've done a few of these now and I'm still super obsessed with how pretty they are. Check out my adult colouring page here.

And now onto this years books!!!

The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Already read this one and I am so in love with it! It had a great twist and I'm heartbroken and I just need the next one like right now. Review shall be up soon.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

I read this back when it came out and gave it a glorious 5* review which you can read here. This was the edition I really wanted because it's so beautiful and is stamped by Cassie, but it was sold out when I wanted to get it. You should've seen the look on my face when I found some in my local Waterstones just before Christmas! I practically ran across the store crying! So yes, I am very glad to finally add this to my collection.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a pretty big Clare fan. I've wanted to read these short stories about Simon for a while now, but, as I did with The Bane Chronicles, I patiently waited until they were released as a full collection. Can't wait to get stuck in!

Wars of the Roses: Ravenspur by Conn Iggulden

Still haven't read Bloodline, but I needed this beautiful hard back edition to add to my collection.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I am a h.u.g.e. Meyer fan. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series ever and I've been dying to get my hands on Heartless since its release. This edition is gorgeous and I can't wait to get started! Find my review for Stars Above here, including links to the 4 main books of The Lunar Chronicles.

Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

As you can see above, I loved the first book in the Magnus Chase series and can't wait to get stuck into this one.

Illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Seriously, you can never read Harry Potter enough times. These illustrated editions are just a gorgeous collection to any Potter collection. They're almost too pretty to read!

Taylor Swift - This Is Our Song by Tyler Conroy

I have been a dedicated Swiftie for over a decade now so as soon as I saw this book, I knew I needed it. I'll probably get super jealous of all the fans when I read it (I still haven't seen her live - she always plays too far away for me to affordably go see) but I'll live with it because I just need more Swift in my life.

So there we have it! These are all the books I got for Christmas. Leave a comment with the ones you received!